World building fears

Today I’ve started putting earnest thought into world building.  The mood of the world is so important not just as a reader but also the writer.  How to be engaged in your writing otherwise?

I started off finding myself assuming my world should be a certain way because that’s the common trope world for the fantasy element my story centres on, and feeling bored and uninterested in it.  It is not a world that at this moment I feel drawn to, to live in, to place my consciousness within.

And then lo and behold, silly me realised that no, if you are world building from scratch, what on earth means you need to apply a trope or anything against your own preference?

I’m now trying to determine if I can apply a Medieval Asian world to a mythical element drawn from European folklore, and still create a believable story.  A part of me says, “yes this is my story so I’ll do what I want.” Another part of me says, “it just feels a little funny against a reader’s expectations.”

Tropes do after all also serve a purpose.  Assumed information can allow a reader to understand more than is immediately said.  

If I’m careful about how I draw in the European folklore into an Asian setting, perhaps it won’t create a jarring experience……… and certainly there may be parallels in Asian folklore that can be applied.

To be honest too, I’m just intimidated by the task of world building.  There have been some truly great fantasy worlds created by talented authors that I could not seek to equal. As I try to create, I constantly find gaps, flaws and inconsistencies in my own logic, things that don’t make sense in the world I’m creating.

The last fantasy book I read (or re-read for the millionth time) was by Jacqueline Carey set primarily in an alternate medieval France.  She has created worlds so rich and vibrant and broad that I could almost reach out and touch those worlds.  As I try to create, I can’t help comparing what I have on a page in front of me to her glowing complete worlds.  It makes no sense I know to compare my incomplete draft chicken scratchings to a published work, but I still, stupidly and irrationally, do.

Now I’m leaning away from recreating my own medieval European world and try to find another place that I might be able to better create from scratch, not having something so close to mind for comparison……..

In terms of action plan, I think I might create a rough framework of a world first and try to start writing a first chapter and at least see how it feels.  Does it feel right and bode worth investing more in?

I’m sure I sound quite asinine right now.  Any advice on defeating that voice in my head that constantly reminds me that I’m hopelessly incapable and leaves me muddling around indecisively is very much appreciated.